Saturday, January 1, 2011

Scouting Report on Cedrick Desjardins

This evening the Tampa Bay Lighting will start rookie Cedrick Desjardins in his second career appearance.  In his debut vs Montreal on Thursday Desjardins stopped 27 of 28 shots for the win, so Boucher is going to stick with the hot hand and give Desjardins a chance to show what he has while Mike Smith is still coming back from injury and Dan Ellis has been erratic at times this year.  The 25-year-old goaltender is officially listed as a butterfly style, but he is predominantly a battler in the mold of a Tim Thomas more than a clinical tactician in the net.  His strengths are his movement and quick glove.  His best quality though is his battle and his mental resilience which were both tested in his debut when he gave a soft goal only 58 seconds into his NHL debut but rebounded beautifully to stop the last 27.

Part of the reason for that resilence is the very circuitous route to the NHL Desjardins has had to travel proving himself at every level.  Being force to take that kind of route will always instill and expose a level of mental resilience that can bode well for a player once they get here.  After being the goaltender for Crosby and Rimouski Oceanic as they won a Memorial Cup Desjardins was just another undrafted goaltender looking for a job.  The Montreal Canadiens took a chance on him and he would start the battle all over again working on his game for two years in ECHL putting up stellar numbers and then winning another title in 2008 he finally moved up to the AHL.

It would be another two years in the AHL and last season with Hamilton while in the Candiens system he posted an impressive 29-9-4 with a 2.00 goals-against average and .919 save percentage.   When Guy Boucher, who coached Hamilton, became the coach of the Lightning he had the team trade for his former goalie and now he is giving him his chance at the NHL level.  This season in Norfolk Desjardins posted a 12-5-1 record with a 2.63 goals against average and .900 save percentage.